vody/> RCM - Revitalizing Community Membership: Empowering Independence: April 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

RCM of Washington April 2016 Newsletter

See what RCM has been up to this April! And if you'd like to join our mailing list, please send us a private message with your email address. To send your email, click HERE.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

9 Examples of Tech Making it Harder for People with Disabilities

While outlining the ways cloud technologies can help and hinder disabled persons’ access to government information, the National Institute of Standards and Technology offered nine use cases that illustrate these challenges and potential technological solutions.

Unexpected software updates make it harder for the blind

Cora is a customer service representative in a specialized work group that covers income from foreign sources. She is blind from birth and uses a Braille display connected to her computer. Most of the information she handles shows up in specific blocks on the screen and she has learned the keyboard commands to give those blocks focus on the Braille display as needed. Unexpected software updates to the internal cloud application sometimes change the layout and cause the Braille display to lose focus. This requires some assistance from the IT support center to get her back on track; in the meantime her productivity is compromised. The IT support people have come to expect her calls whenever there is a software update. They serve other blind users, who use a range of screen readers and Braille output devices. Cora and her blind peers have tried to escalate this problem but have had limited success.

No resources to fix a fixable problem

Garrett is a wounded veteran with a moderate cognitive disability as a maintenance technician in a remote area. He drives between work sites and uses a mobile device that lets him navigate by GPS and retrieve his work orders through the company’s app. Some work orders are confusing and he needs help. He must place a call to his supervisor and slowly read aloud the text of the order. The supervisor then explains the work order and occasionally must text him a complete, simplified order, in a regular text messaging app. Keeping track of the company’s app and the separate text messages can be confusing as well, and makes Garrett’s recordkeeping less accurate but it does let him get his maintenance work done. He and his supervisor talk about creating a simpler solution but they do not have any resources to develop software or even explore what their organization may already have that they could use.


Longest Serving Director Of DC Disability Agency Departs

Applause is rarely allowed in a courtroom, much less a full standing ovation — for a defendant.

But that's what happened on Wednesday afternoon, when U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle led an ovation for Laura Nuss, the departing director of the D.C. Department on Disability Services, the city agency charged with serving residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The moment of celebration came as Nuss prepares to leave the agency she has led since 2010, making her the agency's longest-serving director.

In that time, she has led what many say is a dramatic turnaround in an agency that for decades had been dysfunctional — and unable to escape from the Evans class action lawsuit filed in 1976 over conditions at Forest Haven, the institution where people with disabilities were sent until it was closed in 1991.

Huvelle, who has presided over the Evans case for 16 years — and often lambasted Nuss for her agency's performance in earlier court hearings — said Wednesday that Nuss's longevity at DDS contributed both to the turnaround and the possibility that the Evans suit will be dismissed later this year.

"We wouldn't have done it without you," said Huvelle to Nuss at Wednesday afternoon's hearing. "Until we got consistent management, we weren't able to move the ball."

As we reported in our four-part series "From Institution to Inclusion" in March, while the Evans lawsuit succeeded in closing Forest Haven and moving its 1,000 residents into other living arrangements in D.C., the city has long failed to meet the broader requirements of the suit: that residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities be offered the opportunity to be more closely integrated into their community.

To read more on this story, click here: Longest-Serving Director Of D.C. Disability Agency Departs 


Friday, April 22, 2016

DCPL Staff Day 2016 - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Limited Capacity filling up

We will explore inclusive services for adults with intellectual disabilities and how you can design programming for all! We will explore how to form a "Next Chapter Book Club" for the community. Starting a book club requires planning and organizing, and each is slightly different, we will talk about the structure that will work well for the initial members. We will also discuss ways to adapt other Library Programming to include all types of people including adults with intellectual disabilities during daytime hours. We anticipate this will be a interactive, fun brainstorming session that will allow people to walk away with new ideas and activities to implement in their locations!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Time: 12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Speakers: Amy L. Brooks, Katie Pitts and Alison Whyte

To learn more about this event, click here: DCPL Staff Day 2016 - Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Chateau Nightclub Owner Seresa ‘Nut’ Coleman Has Passed Away

Many people loved this place!

Seresa "Nut" Coleman, owner of longtime Benning Road NE hand-dancing club The Chateau passed away on April 1. He was 84.

Coleman opened The Chateau in 1967 and it has since become a legendary club, hosting a number of heavy-hitting soul acts over the years including Denise LaSalle, The Marvelettes, The Dynamic Superiors, and more. In recent years, Coleman’s comfortable but worn-around-the-edges room, notably located between a church and a liquor store near I-295, became best-known for hosting hand dancing, a D.C. version of swing dancing.

In 2015, the Washington City Paper included “Breeze Country,” the public access TV hand dance program recorded on Wednesday evenings at The Chateau, as part of its Best Of issue. Many of the Wednesday night regulars also attend the weekly Friday hand-dancing night that's kind of like a high school reunion for longtime D.C. residents who grew up in '50s through the '70s.



New Overtime Rules May Put Squeeze on Caregivers for Those with Disabilities

Some members of the RCM team and Thomas Mangrum were featured in an NPR story about the new overtime rules and how this could affect providers and those receiving services. Click below to check it out!

In coming weeks, the White House is expected to finalize key new rules on overtime pay that could benefit an estimated 6 million lower-paid salaried workers. Workers' advocates say it's a long-awaited change. Most employer groups vocally oppose the new rules, because they might have to raise their minimum salaries, pay overtime — or limit their workers' hours.

Much of the debate has pitted workers against employers.

But at least one group is sympathetic to both sides: the American Network of Community Options and Resources, or ANCOR, an association that represents employers offering support services to intellectually disabled people.

ANCOR doesn't oppose the rules, because it wants to pay its workers more. At the same time, member employers won't be able to comply with the rules, because their revenue relies on Medicaid reimbursement rates, which aren't set to change.


Monday, April 11, 2016

RCM of Washington is Moving!

It is official! RCM is excited to announce that we will be moving our headquarters a few blocks away to The People’s Building, located at 64 New York Ave NE. We are so excited to grow our office and be able to customize our space to best meet our needs as an organization.  We are estimating the move to be completed mid-August. Be on the look out for an open house event. We look forward to celebrating with all of our supporters and community partners!

Please subscribe to our blog, RCM - Revitalizing Community Membership: Empowering Independence to stay updated on events!


RCM of Washington March 2016 Newsletter

See what RCM has been up to this March! And if you'd like to join our mailing list, please send us a private message with your email address. To send your email, click HERE. 


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